Boks' debut duo a mix of fire and ice
JACO Taute and Elton Jantjies walked away from their debut test against the Wallabies with vastly different experiences, and not just because the one played 80 minutes and the other barely made it on.
Taute, who tends to wear his heart on his sleeve, soaked it all up, while the steely determined Jantjies remained his steely self.
"The first few minutes were very nervy for me after the national anthems," admitted Taute.
"It was very emotional. I could barely hold back my tears.
"The first minute felt strange but thereafter I felt comfortable. It is true what they say about your debut just flying by. I can barely remember a thing.
"It was what I expected and more. We could sense how much it meant for the country and its people."
Jantjies had no jitters.
"I just wanted to enjoy myself. I didn't have any nerves and I felt confident because every player knew what to do."
While most of the country rooted for him to get some game time after he was snubbed against England in Port Elizabeth, Jantjies gave the impression he wasn't too bothered.
"I was well prepared, so if I went on I would just express myself. If I didn't go on I would just have to wait, be composed and just wait for my opportunity.
"I had to be prepared for a while because Goose (Johan Goosen) had a niggle and I had to be ready to go on any minute," said Jantjies.
With Goosen and Ruan Pienaar struggling to raise the flags surely Jantjies must have itched to get on earlier?
"Flyhalves missing kicks is part of rugby," said Jantjies.
Taute had to overcome an early setback. The first time he touched the ball in a Bok jersey, he spilled it forward.
"That certainly wasn't part of the plan but I'm thankful it happened early and I had 80 minutes to try and fix it," said Taute.
Taute can't wait to get stuck into the All Blacks next weekend if he retains his place. Jantjies's response is more measured .
"It will be a dream to play for the Springboks. I don't care who it is against. It's about wearing the green and gold," Jantjies said.
But Taute said: "That is why you play. To play for the Springboks against the All Blacks. You have millions of people behind you.
"To beat them is fantastic and I think that motivates you 100 times more."